Deadlifts, RDLs & Hinges
Dr. Seedman performs barbell RDLs with eccentric Isometrics, which offer numerous benefits in terms of muscle function, strength, stability, mobility, symmetrical loading, and hypertrophy. This video is featured in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on eccentric isometrics.
Controlling the eccentric phase of the deadlift can be dangerous if done improperly. However if the technique is correct it can be very beneficial for increasing strength, size, and muscle function. Keeping the spine properly aligned is the most important cue.
Rack pulls are great for adding mass and strength to the entire posterior chain especially the upper back. One of Dr. Seedman's clients--a national level masters figure competitor and powerlifter--rack pulls 315 at a bodyweight of just over 120 pounds.
Dr. Seedman shares one of his drills for teaching proper hinge and swing mechanics. This is a perfect exercise to perform before moving onto more dynamic movements such as kettlebell or plate swings. This video is featured in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on plate and kettlebell movements. Read the article, review the videos, and start swinging--plates, that is.
Plate swings are a great alternative if you don't have access to kettlebells, and an excellent movement for correcting swing and hinging technique. This video is featured in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on plates and kettlebell movements. Read the article, review the videos, and start swinging--plates, that is.
Another The double-plate swing is great for reinforcing proper scapula positioning. The plate swing tutorials is featured in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on plate and kettlebell movements. Read the article, review the videos, and start swinging--plates, that is.
A highly effective substitute to traditional kettlebell swings, the double plate swing allows the load to be swung from the sides rather than the front. This video is feature in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on plate and kettlebell movements. Read the article, review the videos, and start swinging--plates, that is.
Bottoms-up plate clean is an excellent replacement for the traditional bottoms-up kettlebell clean, as well as an amazing exercise for full body strength and stabilization. This video is featured in Dr. Seedman's T-Nation article on plate and kettlebell movements.
This is one of the best exercises for taxing the entire posterior chain (upper back, low back, glutes, and hamstrings), as well as the muscles of the feet, ankles, and toes. This video is part of featured article on T-Nation.com.
Dr. Seedman uses his Rapid Eccentric Isometrics technique--an advanced proprietary training technique he developed--with dumbbell RDLs to increase proprioceptive feedback from muscle spindles with the goal of improving performance and muscle function. Rapid Eccentric Isometrics should only be used once proper form has been established with standard eccentric isometrics (EI’s).
RDL's are one of the single best exercises for strengthening the entire posterior chain as well as targeting postural muscles of the entire body. Focus on hinging at the hips throughout and keeping a neutral arch throughout.
The cable pull-through exercise is an excellent movement for targeting the entire posterior chain particularly the glutes and hamstrings. This hip hinge variations provides tension to the glutes and hamstrings throughout the entire range of motion unlike free weight variations where tension releases at the top.
Kettlebell Swings are an excellent exercise for activating the entire posterior chain especially the glutes and hamstrings. Focus on driving the weight back and forth with the hips rather than up and down. Keep perfect posture and spinal alignment throughout.
The single arm bent over row is an excellent lat and back exercise that simultaneously work rotary stability and anti-rotation muscles of the core. Keep the spine locked into position throughout and avoiding over-pulling at the top.
Kettlebell swings are a great exercise for targeting the entire posterior chain especially the glutes and hamstrings. Add in the single arm variation and you'll also challenge stabilizers of your core that are responsible for anti-rotation and rotary stability.
This is an excellent power variation of the Olympic Clean. Keep the chest up throughout and be sure the hips and chest come up at the same rate. Build up speed gradually then explode at the top position.
Single-leg Good Mornings are one of the most difficult yet effective exercises for targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles not to mention all of the muscles involved in posture positioning.
Single-leg Bent Over Rows are very difficult yet very effective for working the entire posterior chain starting from head to toe. Every muscle in the back, glutes, and hamstrings have to work overtime to control the load.
This is one of the most difficult rowing exercises you'll ever perform. Not only does it crush the entire posterior chain from head to toe but its also great for correcting technique and eliminating momentum. Dr. Seedman uses Hanging Band Technique (HBT) to increase the difficulty of the movement.
This is one of the most difficult RDL's or hip hinge exercises you can perform. Not only does it crush the entire backside but its also great for correcting technique and and addressing lower body imbalances. Dr. Seedman uses Hanging Band Technique (HBT) to further increases the difficulty of the movement.
The Hanging Band Technique (HBT) can be applied to nearly all barbell movements, including RDL's and hinges. HBT increases the difficulty of the movement as it requires greater stabilization, proprioceptive feedback (from muscle spindle activation), core activation, and sensory integrated movement to control the oscillations and perturbations of the barbell.
Bottoms-up exercises are some of the most difficult strength training movements there are. During the snatch, you'll be required to aggressively activate your hips while controlling and stabilizing the load at the top. This requires full body strength, power, stability, and motor control. Performing them in a continuous fashion also increases the amount of eccentric loading thereby creating greater strength and hypertrophy benefits.
Reversing your grip on RDLs (Romanian Deadlifts) is an excellent technique for promoting retracted and depressed scapula. Doing so forces the shoulder blades and spine into a tighter position. If you have trouble with your shoulders rounding or inability to maintain a neutrally arched spine during deadlifts, this technique will be of great value.
Performing negative or eccentric accentuated deadlifts (slow lowering phase), combined with the squat-stance or semi-sumo stance is a great movement for increasing strength and power. Ed Coan used a similar technique and stance for breaking numerous deadlift records, many of which still stand to this day.
Combining eccentric isometrics with squat-stance deadlifts (similar to what powerlifting great Ed Coan used), is a great method for improving technique, proprioception, sensory feedback, movement mechanics, mobility, stability, strength, and hypertrophy. Perform the eccentric phase very slowly and pause at the bottom position for several seconds before powerfuly driving the weight up.
Dr. Seedman tweaked legendary powerlifter Ed Coan’s sumo deadlift to make it more joint friendly and conducive for maximizing strength, hypertrophy, and performance for athletes and general populations alike.
This is an awkward and difficult, yet highly effective, deadlift/squat variation for improving strength and mechanics, especially for the squat-stance deadlift. Once you go back to normal squats and deadlifts, form and technique will feel more locked in than ever. Due to the movement's difficulty, start with half your body weight then move up gradually to a goal of bodyweight.
High rep deadlifts are a brutal but effective way to finish your deadlift session. Use 60-70% 1RM and aim for 8-10 perfect reps. Focus on keeping your spine and overall body mechanics locked in throughout especially as you fatigue.
If you're looking to change up your deadlift or squat workout, try performing this unique kettlebell variation. If you're needing an added boost in intensity try adding chains. As far as the protocol goes, you simply lift the weight up 1 inch off the floor, pause, drive to the top, lower slowly, pause 1 inch from the floor, set the weight back to the floor gently, then repeat. Simple but brutal and highly effective for increasing, strength, size, functional muscle mass, motor control, and technique.
If you're looking for a great variation of the kettlebell swing this one is a must try. The movement emphasizes deceleration forces the lifter must deal with as they absorb force in the eccentric position. The bands also create constant tension in the glutes particularly in the fully contracted position. If you're looking for a new variation to crush your glutes and hamstrings as well as one that improves hip power and hip function you'll definitely want to give this a try.
Good mornings are a great exercise for targeting the entire posterior chain including the upper back, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. It's also great for improving squat and deadlift strength as well as hip function and lower body hinge mechanics. The draping chain technique adds an additional instability component forcing the lifter to control the load and stabilize to a greater degree, essentially making them perform the movement in a more controlled fashion.
Here's NFL defensive end Jarius Wynn performing banded good mornings. Good mornings combined with accommodating resistance are a great exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings while minimizing stress to the low back as the bar is deloaded towards the bottom of the movement.
The single leg Romanian deadlift swap is an incredible drill for improving mobility and stability of the hip hinge position. Simply perform a single leg RDL and perform swaps while holding the eccentric isometric position. Just be prepared to deal with a serious burn in the glutes and hamstrings as well as the feet and ankles.
Taking a wider stance on RDL's (Romanian Deadlifts) is a great way to target different areas of the glutes and hamstrings particularly some of the inner areas that don't normally get taxed with the typical close stance position. Elevating the toes to put the feet in dorsiflexion further target the glutes and hamstrings.
Performing good mornings with band resistance is a great hip hinge method for targeting the glutes and hamstrings while taking stress off the spine and low back. Having the forefoot elevated slightly to place the foot into dorsiflexion puts even greater stretch and emphasis on the posterior chain.
Good mornings performed using the hanging band technique HBT style is a great way to tax the entire posterior chain while ensuring the individual stays tight and locks the movement in with great motor control. The oscillations and perturbations produce increased muscle activation, motor unit recruitment, proprioception, and tension. This is a great way to master the hip hinge.
Here's one of my awesome clients and national figure competitor Leslie Lee performing a unique variation of the barbell RDL. Having the toes elevated slightly on plates increases the stretch and activation of the posterior chain including the glutes and hamstrings. This is also great for improving hip hinge mobility and decreasing tightness to the posterior chain.
Performing RDL's (Romanian Deadlifts) with horizontal band resistance is a great way to clean up your hinge mechanics. The band resistance forces the lifter to squeeze their lats and sit back into their hips in order to avoid losing their balance and maintain control of the load. Here's one of my clients and national figure competitor Leslie Petch Lee performing it.
With this double pause gliding deadlift technique you are essentially pausing 1-2 inches floor after lift off. Pausing in the concentric phase teaches excellent pulling mechanics and really reinforces the idea of keeping a rigid spine and tight lats without letting the hips shoot up or the chest drop over. The hold at the bottom position is essentially an eccentric isometric that promotes proprioception, hypertrophy, hip mobility, motor control, and proper squatting mechanics. Besides crushing the legs, core, back, and shoulders, it also promotes proper breathing patterns due to the frequent isometric holds which elevates heart rate and breathing.
Using accommodating resistance on squat stance deadlifts (or any other movement) allows the lifter to handle incredibly heavy loads at the top of the movement as the bottom is relatively deloaded compared to the finishing position. Besides decreasing strain to the spine and improving deadlift mechanics, the hypertrophy stimulus this has on the entire body particularly when combined with squat stance deadlifts is potent to say the least. Here’s one of my powerlifting and bodybuilding athletes Ben Lai demonstrating it with chains with a total load of approximately 600 lbs at the top position.